Last night's game against the Panthers was probably the best road game the Caps have played under Coach Hunter. They came out playing hard and hungry, and really took it to Florida.

The one lapse in their play (nobody covered Flash, close to the net), late in the first period, did cost them, resulting in them finishing the first period down by a goal. They were ahead, 17-12, in shots and 8-7 in chances.

The rest of the way they did a great job of keeping ahead on chances, being especially effective stifling the Panthers' chances. I don't have the chance numbers, but the cats only got 11 shots the rest of the way, all of which TVo was ready for.

Things were still looking bleak for quite a while, though, with the Caps unable to get on the board at all until OV put a power play goal in about five minutes into the third. So the game was tied for quite a while, but Sasha minor put one off a defenseman's stick and into the top corner about nine minutes later.

Further encouragement: I expected the Caps to pull back into a shell from that point on. While that was largely true, they did still manage to generate a few more chances the rest of the way. And, as mentioned, the shell did hold.

So the Caps managed to win their second game in the last month or so, where they allowed an opposition goal.

Cynicism aside, there was a lot to like about this game. The effort was there, from start to finish; they outplayed Florida solidly; and they balanced the playing time a lot better than Hunter has generally done.

And it was a great time to put on such a performance, going against the team ahead of them in the standings.

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